So, my son's a picky veggie eater. He's a "meat" kind of boy. He will eat some veggies: corn, canned green beans (yes, only canned), frozen peas (not canned, they are too mushy), and carrots. That about sums up the veggies he will eat without complaining.
He has recently accepted that he must eat at least 2 pieces of steamed broccoli when I make it. But only two...at least he has graduated from only 1 piece. And he only eats the tops, not the stems. I consider it a little victory.
My daughter will eat most veggies :-)
However, I decided I needed to get a little creative with the veggies so I can ensure that Ryan is getting the nutrients that he needs.
I found this recipe for crock pot baked ziti. I made it for Ansley's birthday party because she had a soccer game right before her party and I needed to be able to cook dinner while we were at the game.
I read some of the comments, and they all suggested a shorter cooking time and an extra jar of sauce than what the recipe called for.
I figured that it would make a great meal that I can sneak in some extra veggies. Cut up too small to find it in the sauce and they won't know they are eating them!!
1 lb ground beef (I used Ground Turkey for lower fat)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (25 ounce) jars pasta sauce
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 (16 ounce) box ziti pasta
1 zucchini MINCED into teeny tiny pieces
1 Yellow Squash MINCED into teeny tiny pieces
1/2 cup Carrots MINCED into teeny tiny pieces
2 large handfuls of fresh Spinach leaves MINCED into teeny tiny pieces
1 Cook ground meat and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Stir in seasonings to evenly coat meat; add in veggies; stir in pasta sauce. Set aside.
2 Mix 1 cup mozzarella, the ricotta and parmesan in a medium bowl. Spoon 2 cups of meat sauce into the slow cooker; top with 2 cups ziti. Drop half of the cheese mixture, by rounded tablespoons, over ziti; carefully spread over ziti using back of spoon. Layer with 2 cups meat sauce, the remaining ziti and remaining cheese. Add remaining meat sauce, completely covering all the ziti and cheese. And add remaining cheese. Place lid on slow cooker.
3 Cook on low for 4 hours until noodles are tender.
4 Serve directly from slow cooker.
It was yummy.
My daughter questioned the spinach, but accepted that it was "seasonings" - I just couldn't tell her it was spinach without her brother overhearing!
Ryan didn't the like onions and chunks of tomatoes that were in the jarred sauce! But he ate it...twice; had it for left overs the next day.
We ate it 2 nights then saved half of it. So this is a good meal for a large group or do I like did and save some for another day when you need a quick meal! Since we have baseball or soccer practices 4 nights a week, I'm always in need of a quick meal!
I hope your like it!!